Your Skin and Your Gut
If you want to heal your skin, you have to heal your gut.
Poor digestion plays a major role in rosacea. When one has low stomach acidity, abnormal gut flora, and eats foods that promote these problems, undigested food particles can cause allergies, leading to flare-ups.
Low stomach acid: Low stomach acidity can be a factor in rosacea. This contributes to poor digestion of food and dysfunctional gut bacteria, which can cause rosacea. As far back as 1931 studies have shown that low stomach acid is a major factor in rosacea. Consider supplementing with Betain HCl – available online from most health stores and also this website
Eat bitter foods: Bitter foods increase digestion: green juice, all greens, lettuce, kale, broccoli, mushrooms, cucumbers, cabbage, melons, cauliflower, asparagus, tomatoes, olives, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice.
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
Some cases of Rosacea are caused by Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). SIBO develops when there is a growth of excess bacteria in the small intestine (in a healthy digestive system there is only a small amount of bacteria present). This causes inflammation and damage to the intestinal wall which prompts other conditions such as Rosacea to develop. The study Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in Rosacea: clinical effectiveness of its eradication found that, "Rosacea patients have a significantly higher SIBO prevalence than controls."
A recent report indicated that small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), a condition involving inappropriate growth of bacteria in the small intestine, is 10 times more prevalent in people with acne rosacea than in healthy controls, and that correction of SIBO in these individuals led to marked clinical improvement.
The researchers treated the patients with the bacterial imbalance with antibiotics. They found that by eradicating the overgrowth of bad bacteria, about 70 percent of the rosacea patients' skin cleared up entirely, and over 20 percent experienced a dramatic improvement in their symptoms.
Antibiotics are often prescribed to treat SIBO and may be quite effective for some people. There are quite a few internet forums that look at the use of antibiotics such as this one. However, prolonged use of antibiotics may disrupt gut flora which is increasingly being linked to other health risks.
Low Carbohydrate Diet
When carbohydrates are eaten, they break down during digestion and 'feed' the bacteria. Of course we do not want that to happen! We recommend that if you have SIBO, avoid grains and rather stick to veggies, fruits, legumes and protein instead.
Probiotics are often taken by SIBO sufferers which help reduce the inflammation caused, inhibit unwanted bacteria and help the body's digestive functions work more efficiently.
Probiotics increase healthy flora in intestines and strengthen immunity
Helicobacter Pylori (Hp) is a common bacterial infection that affects the lining of the stomach and causes inflammation and stomach ulcers. It affects over 30% of the world's population, according to the Centre for Digestive Diseases. Hp may also lead to an increase of Nitrous Oxide (NO) in the blood and tissue which, along with the inflammatory symptoms, is believed to cause a range of other conditions, including Rosacea.
The first step to treat Rosacea caused by Hp bacteria is to eliminate the bacteria itself and soothe the associated inflammation. This can be done using:
Antibiotics are commonly prescribed for Hp infections. However, if antibiotics are taken too much, the bacteria may become resistant to their effects which force you to take higher or stronger dosages.
A number of natural supplements have been found to kill off Hp bacteria and soothe the inflammation. These include
L Glutamine is an amino acid that's found in high levels throughout the body. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and is essential for the proper fucntion of the immune system. It is often taken as a supplement to heal any damage and inflammation caused by Hp.
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS) is a common condition that occurs when the digestive tract walls become too penetrable, thus allowing toxins, allergens and food molecules to pass out of the gut into the rest of the body. The immune system identifies these as 'invaders' and responds to them as it normally would to say the Flu virus. As the leakages occur each meal, this leads to an overactive immune response which leads to inflammation and further conditions, such as Rosacea.
Initial emphasis should be placed on healing the damaged digestive tract and soothing the inflammation caused. We recommend identifying any possible food allergies and make the required nutritional changes.
Probiotics are often taken to help repair the intestinal tract and reduce the associated inflammation.
Some supplements have been found to help heal the damaged tract and reduce the inflammation caused. These include:
Glutamine, an amino acid, helps restore the gut barrier and digestive functions that are impacted by this gut condition. This article looks into this a bit more and the study Glutamine: a role in gut protection in critical illness looks at the effectiveness of Glutamine in treating LGS.
Quercetin is derived from fruits and veggies
Quercetin is a flavanoid that can be found in fruits, veggies, leaves and grains. It acts as an effective antioxidant and helps to soothe the inflammation caused by LGS by improving the tissue health of the intestinal wall.